Cynthia Shetter has been the library director for the village of Los Lunas for 24 years. She is the daughter of the late Wayne Johnson, and Hazel Johnson, who lives at Cutter, north of the New Mexico Spaceport. Shetter’s children are daughter, Samantha (David) Mankins; and sons, Kyle and Shawn, of Bosque Farms, and daughter, Shelly (Fernando) Batres, of Los Lunas and their children, Fernando and Miranda.

Q What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?

A “I look at the surrounding mountain ranges and think how explorers must have looked at a mountain across the way and said, ‘I want to go there’ and that’s how that area was settled.”

Q What was the last gift you gave someone?

A “I bought DNA kits for a few members of my family to obtain more data to support my genealogy addiction. I’ve discovered that my great-great grandfather, Stokley D. Henderson’s cabin in Yellowstone was burned down in 1877 by Chief Joseph’s Nez Perce warriors during their escape to Canada from the reservation in Oregon. His brother, Abel Bartlett Henderson, kept a journal naming several places in Yellowstone that the national park system uses to document the history of the park.”

Q What were you like in high school?

For those who know the studious director of the Los Lunas Public Library and Museum of Heritage and Arts, it may come as a surprise that in 1984, Cynthia Johnson Shetter, along with Chris Youngblood, were voted the class clowns at Hot Springs High School in Truth or Consequences.

A “I was very outgoing. I graduated sixth in my class but I would have done better if I hadn’t been so busy being the class clown!”

Q What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

A “I have a daily battle with my blue heeler, Rooster, when I try to get up in the morning. He lays across me and won’t move!

Q What did you want to be when you grew up?

A “I’m still trying to figure that one out. People I grew up with are quite surprised I’m a librarian.”

Q Who inspires you?

A “I go where God leads me, but my parents gave me an incredible education that combined ranch and town life that has been very beneficial in my life. Our ranch was 45 miles east of TorC in the San Andres Mountains. I used to have to drive 28 miles to the bus stop at Engle, then ride the bus the other 17 miles to school. We had a house in TorC in case of inclement weather.”

Q What is your birth order in your family, and do you think it influences who you are?

A “I am the youngest of six, and my siblings have always told me I was a mistake, so was I always trying to be the best at everything. Now I counter with, ‘Mom and Dad just kept going until they finally got it right.’”

Q What do you do in your free time?

A “I am a genealogy fanatic, but I love going camping, hiking, fishing, hunting — anything outdoors.”

Q What’s the most interesting thing about you?

A “I have worked contingency for the Mint 400 desert race, where I would check in the racers and inspect the race vehicle for safety. This past year, I was fortunate enough to be part of a trophy truck pit crew for the Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico. Three pit crews leap frogged the chase trucks to different parts of the 500 mile course to gas the truck, change tires and make repairs like in NASCAR, but it involved a lot more dirt and dust. Our team came in third!”

Q If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

In 1975, Los Lunas Public Library Director Cynthia Johnson Shetter bought her first horse. She was 9 years old, and named the equine, Chico. The ranch was in the San Andres Mountains, 45 miles east of TorC, on the border of the White Sands Missile Range.

A “I was raised on a ranch east of Truth or Consequences and bought my first horse at age 9 with my own money. I told the livestock agent that I wanted a horse that could jump ditches, so I would be a horse running free.”

Q You find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

A “I don’t pick up lottery tickets off the ground so it would be one that I forgot about in my truck … so cash it of course!”

Q Who is your best friend and why?

A “My friend Leann Woodruff has been in my life since we were 2 years old. I have been blessed that we both ended up living in Los Lunas.”

Q What’s your favorite song to sing when you’re alone?

A “My recent one has been ‘Jack it to Jesus and Spray it to Hell’ by Jaida Dreyer. He wrote the song based on the instructions that Loretta Lynn gives her hairdresser.”

Q Where is your happy place, and why?

Cynthia Johnson Shetter, in back, and her niece, Tressa, in front, rafting the Animas River in 2010.

A “The mountains. I love the pine trees, the streams, the fresh air. I’m a country girl at heart.”

Q Have you had a life-changing experience that led you to where you are today?

A “I started taking my kids to story hour in 1988. In 1995, the former library director, Carmen Jaramillo-Campos, asked me to apply for an open position and here I am today, thanks to her!”

Q What teacher had the greatest impact on you?

A “Mrs. Pat Furbee was my Kiddie Kollege kindergarten teacher. She taught me to like going to school and to strive to do my best. I grew up in Truth or Consequences but kindergarten was not part of the school system at that time.”

Q If you could live in any other time, when might that be and why?

A “I want to live in the late 1800s Old West. I have been doing a lot of research on that time and I think I was born in the wrong era.”

Q If you could have dinner with one famous person from history, who would it be?

A “I was born on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday and have always been interested in his life.”

Q What are you most proud of?

A “The people my kids have turned out to be.”

Q How would you like to be remembered?

A “For my contributions in helping preserve the history of Valencia County and moving New Mexico libraries into the future.”

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.